Many moons ago, back when I was a baby worship pastor, I attended a worship technology conference. It was awesome. All the latest and greatest worship tech was right there for me to demo. I was the happiest little worship nerd you’ve ever seen. But during one of the main sessions, the speaker asked a question that has stayed with me all these years:
If the power goes out, would you still be able to have church?
This question has come back to me several times over the years. From the Palm Sunday I walked into the sound booth and the board wouldn’t turn on, to the Sunday my MacGuyver-like Sound Tech was on vacation and our Worship Center lights refused to turn on, I’ve been forced to come up against this very question several times. In both those instances we were fortunate enough to have a backup plan available. It may not have been pretty, but we got it done.
That being said, the idea behind the question is an important one: Are we so dependent upon technology to deliver our message that we would be completely hampered without its use? On the flip side, is our message strong enough to stand on its own, without the benefit of technology?
For me, there are some key things I practice in response to this question.
- Always have acoustic instruments, candles and matches, printed Bibles, and familiar songs at your disposal.
I primarily play a digital keyboard these days, but I always have a guitar available at church. And in the age of the iPad, if you use that as your Bible, make sure you have a print Bible handy. Candles are great for light, not just setting a mood (SURPRISE!), and well-known songs will keep your congregation worshiping without lyrics handy.
- Know how to project.
I learned long ago how to use my outdoor voice. It’s a good skill to have in your repertoire.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: Don’t freak out when tech doesn’t work.
The church survived for nearly 2,000 years without technology. God doesn’t need that Youtube video to communicate His Word, and neither do we.